Losing a loved one is a difficult journey that seems to never end. During the holidays, many people who have lost a loved one find it difficult to deal with their grief. Holidays are filled with friends and family members, and after the loss of a loved one, these memories serve as a constant reminder of the loss.
Holidays are supposed to be filled with celebration and happiness and with the loss of a loved one, celebrating these special holidays becomes difficult. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, but below, Evans Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services provides seven tips to help families and friends cope with grief during the holidays.
1. Set Reasonable Expectations for Yourself: This holiday season is going to be different and that is okay. Decide what responsibilities and activities that you are okay with participating in. Consider what events and traditions are important to you and determine if you want to continue them. Remember that your family is dealing with the loss as well so they will understand that you might not be capable of your normal responsibilities.
2. Spend Time With People Who Love and Support You: During the holidays you want to surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Especially after the loss of a loved one, it is important to spend time with people who are going to help you through the grieving process. Make sure to inform your family and friends of any changes in your normal holiday routine. Try to share memories and stories of past holidays with your lost loved one to comfort your friends and family.
3. Allow Yourself to Grieve: Holidays and grief can sometimes go hand-in-hand. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. Remember that everyone deals with feelings of grief differently but it is important to not avoid your feelings. If you avoid your feelings, you may reach a threshold and lash out on family or friends. Don’t try to numb the pain with drugs or alcohol because this can lead to arguments.
4. Let Yourself Make Changes to Traditions: After the loss of a loved one, traditions might change and that is okay. Decide which traditions you want to keep and which ones are too difficult to continue without your lost loved one it is okay to change them. Do your best to avoid canceling the holiday all together. It is important to avoid isolating yourself because many of your family members and friends are probably feeling the same way. Try to find a balance between social activities and individual time.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help: Holidays can be difficult for anyone, even if they are not dealing with the loss of a loved one. It is important to seek help from people and communicate your feelings. Whether you talk to friends, family, or a professional therapist, talking about your feelings and asking for help is important because it can help you handle future situations.
6. Create New Traditions: Creating new traditions can help individuals cope with grief. Just because you are creating new traditions and memories, does not mean that you are erasing old ones. Especially if a loved one had a big responsibility in an old tradition, replacing it with a new tradition can help families and friends deal with grief. Your loved one would not want you to dread the holidays so there is no need to feel guilty about creating new traditions.
7. Consider Doing Something for Others: Whether you choose to volunteer at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving or make a donation for children in need on Christmas, doing something for others can make you feel good. Consider inviting a person to your holiday gatherings who might be alone. This can help to fill the space of a lost loved one.
At Evans, we know how difficult it is to lose a loved one. Everyone deals with grief differently and during the holidays it can become extremely difficult to deal with these feelings. At Evans, we offer grief counseling and can help you or your family and friends with grief during the holidays. To learn more about our provided services, contact a team member, visit our website, or call one of our locations today.